Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Picture This

The gang was all in white, lined up for the family picture. The brother got pissed off at his sister, picked up a pile of mud, and wiped it all over her lily-white top. Mayhem ensued and the shots the photog got were the best ever. That episode of Modern Family jogged a memory about our "sitting" a few months ago. We were dressed accordingly and feeling a bit stiff. After 20 minutes of posing, Dan had the brilliant idea to pull out the wigs. Viola, the personalities emerged.

Capturing that "moment" is key and I wanted some professional advice considering summer travel is upon us. My friend and professional Mapplethorpe, Josh Lehrer, has some enlightening tips. Papa Josh has shot portraits of the big guns such as Donald Trump, Richard Meier, and Tina Brown. His conceptual work has been on bigger-than-life Times Square billboards. Currently, the walls of the Mandarin Oriental in Vegas are adorned with Papa's work. Here are his thoughts on creating artistic memories.
  • Do the opposite of what the camera instructions say. If they say to put the sun at your back, try the sun facing you for something more interesting and dynamic.
  • Family shots - Don't worry what the kids are doing. The parents freak out and get themselves in such a tizzy that they end up looking haggard. Take care of yourself. Let the kids be kids. Trust the photographer to get the great shot.
  • Travel pics - Put your subject in the extreme foreground with the pyramid in the extreme background.
One final idea - say "money" instead of "cheese." Saying "money" makes the corners of your mouth go back in a more natural way. And if you believe that you conjure what you say out loud, it's much better to picture more money than cheese any day.

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